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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott and a team of business delegates from Texas cities are halfway through their three-country Asia trip. The governor announced his business mission to South Korea, Japan and Taiwan earlier this year. Key city business interests will be represented on the trip by Development Corporation of Abilene President and CEO Misty Mayo, one of 28 selected representatives from Texas cities to accompany the governor to these meetings.

“It’s a journey, but an important journey for Texas and certainly an important journey for Abilene … I’ve worked in economic development for decades and this is certainly a highlight of my career,” Mayo said.

(Courtesy: Office of the Governor of Texas)

KTAB/KRBC spoke with Mayo by phone as she was boarding a flight from South Korea to Japan for the final leg of her mission. She spoke about the tremendous opportunities this trip presents for Abilene, not only for our international business partners, but also to demonstrate the city’s potential as a major industrial port.

“It was an extremely tight schedule and to have these opportunities is very special. The delegation was so small that I sat next to the first lady last night, you know, I just had access to the state leadership to make sure they know that Abilene is serious about the future of our community,” Mayo said.

Mayo made full use of her time abroad, adding that outside of the official travel schedule, she made connections with business and industry leaders who have direct ties to manufacturing and commerce in Abilene.

<em>Announcement of the delegation at the opening of the “Office of the State of Texas in Taiwan”</em> <em>(Courtesy: Office of the Governor of Texas)</em>” data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU0MA–/″/><em></div>
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Delegation at the announcement of the “Office of the State of Texas in Taiwan” (Courtesy: Office of the Governor of Texas)

“Part of the reason the schedule is so tight is because I’ve spent the last two months, aside from the trade delegation, preparing and reaching out to companies. I’m meeting with companies that already have ties to Abilene. That’s critical for us to strengthen existing ties and then forge new ties through the delegations,” Mayo said.

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Established and emerging industries in Abilene, such as semiconductor manufacturing, benefit from these relationships through imports, exports and the growing ties between our three nations. And as international tensions rise, developments like the governor’s announcement Sunday to establish a “State of Texas” office in Taiwan could pave a path for Texas, and by extension, Abilene, toward stronger U.S.-foreign ties.

“These three countries are important trading partners and the more we can sit down with them, talk and tour their operations, the closer we can build our partnership. And that partnership builds trust and trust builds long-term relationships that ultimately … We’re making sure that opportunities for Texas actually mean opportunities for Abilene,” Mayo said.

The most important events of the trip include the delegation’s visit to Samsung’s semiconductor plant in South Korea, an agreement with a South Korean steel company to expand production in Temple, Texas, and the announcement of plans to open a branch of the State of Texas in Taiwan.

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